What is the Voyage to Vitality and how can it improve your oral health?

When people think of the dentist, they think of teeth. This makes perfect sense because we are, after all, the “teeth doctors.” But teeth are also connected to ligaments, blood vessels, nerves, bones, gums, muscles, joints and the rest of your body. Having a truly healthy mouth is not just having teeth; instead, it is a complex system that needs to be balanced and maintained.

Tribury Dental’s Voyage to Vitality is the system we use to divide true oral health into three manageable parts.

What is a Healthy Dental Foundation?

As we start our quest for true oral vitality, our voyage starts by taking steps towards a healthy foundation. A healthy foundation is what most people think about at the dentist. This includes: healthy gums, no cavities, strong fillings, healthy root canaled teeth, implants, proper fitting plates, crowns, bridges, and more

Root Cause of an Unhealthy Dental Foundation

The root cause of foundational issues are bacteria and the rampant damage they cause. Everyone’s mouth has bacteria in it; these bacteria can be good or bad. The bad bacteria cause problems by the following way. Bad bacteria attaching to the plaque and tartar left on the teeth and gums. They then eat the plaque and excrete acid (lactic acid to be exact). This acid does one of two things: First, it will burn a hole in the tooth allowing the bad bacteria inside. These bacteria then cause massive destruction and holes in the tooth, resulting in cavities. Secondly, if the acid is near the gum, it causes an autoimmune reaction that destroys the ligaments that hold your teeth in place. When these ligaments die off, it causes bone loss around this tooth. This bone loss is called gum disease.

How Do I Achieve a Healthy Dental Foundation?

Just like everything in life, you need to be realistic about where you are and develop a plan to achieve your goals. The same is true on your trek towards a healthy foundation.

At Tribury Dental, this is done with our New Patient Experience and master plan visits. All new and current patients are offered a chance to meet with Dr. Nicole to have a complete evaluation of their foundation. This will include checking the gums for disease, x-rays to find cavities in between the teeth, and at the ends of the teeth, evaluating the health of previous fillings, performing our basic chewing system evaluation, and taking photos of the teeth with a camera. From there, Dr. Nicole will meet with you one-on-one to discuss where you are and develop a personalized plan for achieving a healthy foundation.

Another unique part of your voyage towards a healthy foundation is joining our Dental Fitness Program. The Dental Fitness Program is our way of evaluating and assessing your current health status. During each recare appointment, our dental hygienist will check your mouth for gum pockets, plaque/bleeding levels, and cavities. These numbers provide us with statistics to let us know how healthy you are at the current moment. It is a great tool to help you maintain a healthy foundation.

The last and most important part of the trek towards a healthy foundation is home care. Within 36 hours (that is a day and a half) of leaving our office, plaque, tartar, and basic schmutz will return to your mouth unless it is properly removed daily. This leads to dentists nagging you to brush and floss – not because we like to, but because it is the only way to maintain a healthy foundation and allow you to keep your teeth for the rest of your life.

Identifying Chewing System Imbalances

Once the foundation is healthy, our voyage continues towards a Healthy Chewing System. Your mouth is a very complicated system of teeth, bones, muscles, nerves, blood vessels, ligaments, and gums. For true oral health, this system must be balanced. Most, over 95%, of people have some sort of chewing system imbalance.

A chewing system imbalance is not something that most dentists address, even though most people have the issue. Some signs and symptoms of a chewing system imbalance include: worn teeth, gum recession, neck and shoulder pain, facial pain, jaw pain, headaches, broken fillings, wiggly teeth with no gum disease present, needing root canals with no cavity present, cracked teeth, fractured fillings, having two bites, clicking and/or popping upon opening, poor sleep, and much more.

Most people consider a chewing system imbalance to be temporomandibular joint disease (TMD/TMJ). TMD is a sign or symptom of a chewing system imbalance. However, we at Tribury Dental feel TMD is only part of the picture. Instead, a chewing system imbalance is a multi-factorial, whole body issue that expresses itself as myofascial pain syndromes, poor sleep, and slow-chronic breakdown of the mouth. How and which symptoms you have are based on your age, gender, level of health, and your body’s ability to compensate for the imbalance.

Root Cause of an Unbalanced Chewing System

The root cause of a chewing system imbalance can be summed up in one statement – lack of proper head and neck development as a child. Over the last 100 years, we have experienced a rapid reduction in the size of our heads and necks. This is not a good thing and it is not due to genetic changes. This reduction in size is due to environmental factures limiting proper development. These factors include: lack of breastfeeding, pollution, allergies, lack of a hard diet, the western diet, and chronic illness.

The lack of proper head and neck development causes the body to have smaller airways, sinuses, and top and bottom jaws. The result is a lack of space to fit 32 teeth properly, not to mention a misalignment of the skeletal system. Think of it this way:, braces and wisdom teeth removal became prominent at the end of the 21st century. This lack of development causes the following issues long term:

  • Myofascial pain
  • Unbalanced skeletal system
  • Excessive force placed on the teeth
  • Breakdown of the temporomandibular joints

If you would like more information about this issue, please read the works of the Weston Price Foundation and their book “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.”

Root Cause of an Unbalanced Chewing System

Here at Tribury Dental, achieving a healthy chewing system starts with a bite evaluation. This includes an in depth exam of the head and neck, TMJ examination, muscle test, cone beam scan, and digital scan of the teeth. From there, you will meet with Dr. Nicole, one-on-one to discuss where you are and develop a personalized plan based on where you would like to go. The first step will be to balance the bite and then determine the best way to re-align the body for long term oral health.

The Dental Impact of a Healthy Self

The mouth is connected to the body. As a result, it is directly impacted by anything that effects the body. These issues include: stress, nutrition, medication, systemic disease, spirituality, exercise, and lifestyle. To achieve true oral health, your body must be healthy. To be clear, this does not just mean disease free; there are many “disease free” people who are not truly healthy. Instead, the healthy self should be looked at as a balanced mind, body, and spirit.

Call us today to request an appointment.